Force India paid the price of not splitting their strategies as the safety car disadvantaged both their drivers.
|Adrian Sutil||Paul di Resta|
|Qualifying time comparison (Q2)||1’32.463 (-0.283)||1’32.746|
Force India drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):
|Paul di Resta||106.673||102.476||101.75||101.614||101.673||101.817||101.953||101.962||102.563||105.607||120.606||103.852||101.988||101.63||101.086||100.958||101.12||101.046||101.454||102.904||101.637||101.903||102.16||118.986||141.157||118.436||149.144||102.049||100.085||99.788||99.458||99.256||99.384||99.474||101.478||117.683||99.926||100.264||99.964||99.301||99.257||99.097||97.97||100.178||99.687||102.098||99.813||99.483||100.02||100.134||100.409||100.545||100.797|
|Pit stop 1||Soft 21.511s|
|Pit stop 2||Soft 21.337s|
|Pit stop 3||Medium 21.839s|
Sutil was disappointed to miss out on the top ten in qualifying. He made amends for that at the start, moving up into ninth place.
He was among the first group of drivers to pit, coming in on lap eight, two laps before Di Resta and jumping his team mate in the process. But they swapped plaes again at the next round of stops – Sutil coming in on lap 23, di Resta a lap later under the safety car.
Both now on medium tyres, they struggled to hold onto their places in the top ten. Sutil made progress at first: passing di Resta on lap 44 and the lap after that he bravely dived down the inside of Kamui Kobayashi as they hurtled into 130R.
But like his team mate he eventually succumbed to the attacks of Vitaly Petrov and Nico Rosberg, who took him together on lap 49.
Sutil said the team were “unlucky” not to score points: “In terms of strategy we had to go for three stops because the degradation was so high. For a while it looked like ninth was possible, but in the end we lost out to the cars making two stops who had the benefit of soft tyres at the end of the race.”
Paul di Resta
|Pit stop 1||Soft 21.964s|
|Pit stop 2||Soft 21.9641s|
|Pit stop 3||Medium 21.553s|
Di Resta took 12th on the grid behind his team mate despite feeling unwell.
He then capitalised on Kamui Kobayashi’s slow start, swinging around the Sauber plus his team mate and both Renaults to take eighth place.
Running the same strategy as his team mate, Di Resta was similarly disadvantaged by the safety car: “[it] spoilt our strategy because that was our fastest part of the race and it was important to try and pull a gap. It helped the cars making two stops because they caught us in the final laps and it was very hard to defend.”
After the restart di Resta was passed by his team mate. Petrov also took him at the start of lap 46 using DRS. The Renault driver then ran wide at Dunlop, holding di Resta up, allowing Rosberg to pass him as well.
He finished eight seconds behind his team mate in 12th meaning both finished where they started.
Drove Adrian Sutil’s car in first practice.
2011 Japanese Grand Prix
Image © Force India F1 Team